Apr 04 2015

TEN10… Sex and the Seventies

TEN10_1969_0001Continuing the history of TEN10, Sydney. Part I can be found here.

The Seventies began with TEN10 still in a precarious financial situation. Profits were small and both the channel and the renamed 0-10 Network were yet to have a break out hit after over five years on air.

The network’s first attempt at serious drama, the Melbourne-based cop series The Long Arm, lasted only three months.

The solution to TEN’s ratings and revenue shortfall could ultimately be summed up in one series — Number 96.

abigailjoehashamThe adults-only sex and sin drama was a gamble played by the 0-10 Network. Production began in TEN10’s North Ryde studios in October 1971 and the series debuted in March 1972, on what became known as ‘the night Australian TV lost its virginity’. With its assortment of storylines including sex, adultery, racism, homosexuality, drugs and rape, combined with casual glimpses of nudity and loads of comedy, Number 96 (cast including Abigail and Joe Hasham, pictured) had an immediate impact on TEN’s ratings and financial position. Within two years TEN10’s full-year profit had skyrocketed from less than $200,000 to $1.55 million. Number 96 went on to top the national ratings in 1973 and 1974 and for the first time the 0-10 Network was seen as a formidable rival to Nine and Seven.

The success of 96 led to the network adopting another adult drama series, the Melbourne-based The Box. While Melbourne productions don’t always fare well in Sydney, The Box debuted on TEN10 to a rating of 46 (per cent of households).

peterphelps_0001When The Box and Number 96 eventually wound up in 1977, 0-10 launched a new series based around a group of school leavers. The Restless Years was a popular drama from the Reg Grundy Organisation that boosted the careers of a number of young actors, including Peter Phelps (pictured), Jon Blake, Simon Burke, Victoria Nicolls, Penny Cook, Lenore Smith, Julieanne Newbould, Martin Sacks, Zoe Bertram and Tom Burlinson. The series also featured former Queensland television presenter Kerri-Anne Wright (now Kerri-Anne Kennerley) in a minor role. The Restless Years continued for four years.

TEN10 and the Grundy Organisation also produced Chopper Squad — an action drama focused on the helicopter rescue squad patrolling Sydney beaches — starring Eric Oldfield, Dennis Grosvenor and Robert Coleby.

katrinaleeAdopting the Eyewitness News brand for its news bulletin in the early 1970s, TEN10 extended its 6.00pm bulletin to one hour in November 1975. By September 1978, John Bailey had returned to TEN after working in Melbourne. He was joined at the news desk by a female reporter, Katrina Lee. Lee (pictured) would go on to become TEN’s biggest news ratings drawcard, winning four Logies for her popularity with Sydney viewers, and would continue to read the news for the channel on and off for around 15 years.

With Lee joining the newsreading team, the Eyewitness News format was revamped to an American style to include more on-the-road reports, live crosses, a more conversational presentation and the newsreaders getting out to report the news not just reading it from the studio.

Mike Walsh, previously seen on TEN10’s Ten On The Town and 66 And All That, had returned to Sydney in 1973 after working on Melbourne radio and television for a few years, to host The Mike Walsh Show. The afternoon variety show set out to challenge the stereotype that daytime viewers were only interested in knitting patterns and cooking tips, by providing a daytime show combining variety with topical discussions on politics, current affairs and other social issues, The Mike Walsh Show became successful enough that Walsh (pictured below with guest Margaret Whitlam in an early show) took the show across to Nine from 1977, where it would continue for several more years and later evolve into the Midday show.


Following the loss of The Mike Walsh Show to Nine, TEN embarked on replacement shows Adams After Noon in 1977 and The Steve Raymond Show in 1978-79. The station also continued its local morning magazine programs, with The Maggie Eckardt Show and later Good Morning Sydney with Maureen Duval.

TEN10_colour_1974But while TEN lost Walsh, the channel and Grundys had huge success with their move to sign up Graham Kennedy for his first major TV comeback since The Graham Kennedy Show on Nine came to an abrupt end — after his controversial “crow call” and other comments made on camera — early in 1975. Blankety Blanks, adapted from the US show The Match Game, debuted in January 1977 and became a prime time ratings hit with its less than subtle innuendo and comic routines from Kennedy and his celebrity panellists (including Carol Raye and Stuart Wagstaff, pictured below with Kennedy).


TEN won a TV Week Logie Award in 1978 for Outstanding Community Service for its special The National Survival Test. The one-off program, featuring Eric Walters, Ken Burslem, Major-General Alan Stretton, Ray Tyson and Bernadette Hughson, was aimed at making Australians more aware of some of the basic facts that will help them survive various dangers including accidents and disasters. The following year TEN won another Logie for the same category for its ‘Have A Go’ advertising campaign —  a series of commercials to motivate Australians to take a greater sense of pride in their country. The campaign was later endorsed by then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser as well as state governments.


In 1979, sixteen years after his failed application for the licence to operate Sydney’s third commercial channel, Rupert Murdoch made a successful takeover of United Telecasters Sydney Limited, the licencee of TEN10. The investment was Murdoch’s first stake in establishing himself as a major player in the Australian television industry — previously only having control of TV stations in Adelaide and Wollongong. The purchase of TEN10 and his subsequent investment in Ansett Transport Industries, which owned ATV0 in Melbourne, would give Murdoch access to Australia’s two largest TV markets. This triggered a government inquiry over concerns Murdoch would have an undue influence over the wider 0-10 network and that his TV ownership across both markets would not be in the public interest.

Meanwhile, TEN10’s afternoon variety show, The Steve Raymond Show, was cancelled in 1979 amid plans to refurbish the channel’s main studio for an ambitious new drama series from the producers of Number 96 that was hoped to lead the charge into the Eighties…

Source: The Age, 27 July 1972. Sydney Morning Herald, 16 October 1973. The Age, 26 April 1977. TV Times, 24 February 1973. TV Week, 11 March 1978. Sydney Morning Herald, 3 September 1978. The Australian Women’s Weekly, 2 July 1980.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/04/ten10-sex-and-the-seventies.html

Apr 03 2015

TEN10… the Sixties and all that!

TEN10_1965_0001This Sunday, 5 April, marks the 50th birthday for Sydney’s TEN10. Today and over the weekend we’ll take a look at the channel’s formative years.

Following the launch of ATV0 in Melbourne in 1964, the year 1965 saw the new Independent Television System (ITS) network extend to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Sydney joined the network with the advent of TEN10. The channel officially launched on Monday, 5 April 1965, two years to the day after the licence for the station was awarded to United Telecasters Sydney Limited (UTSL).

UTSL was one of nine applicants for the Sydney licence. One of the unsuccessful candidates for the licence was a young Rupert Murdoch, who already owned Adelaide television station NWS9. Ironically, he was to acquire TEN10 and ATV0 amid more controversial circumstances many years later.

Shareholders in UTSL included AWA, Email, NRMA, Bank Of NSW, JC Williamson Theatres and Colonial Sugar Refineries.

Within six months of its receipt of the licence, UTSL had announced that the new channel would have the call-sign TEN10. The company also made its first executive appointments and had purchased property to locate its transmitter.

Robert Lord, formerly general manager at Wollongong’s WIN4, had been appointed as station manager. Ross Thyer, the station’s new chief engineer, worked with AWA on its early television demonstrations during the 1954 Royal Visit. He was later involved in the development of television stations ATN7 Sydney, HSV7 Melbourne and QTQ9 Brisbane.

“The establishment of this third commercial station represents a most interesting challenge,” Mr Lord (pictured below) told TV Week at the time. “The station has plans for programs which are most exciting and I look forward to helping implement them. I am confident that the Channel Ten call-sign will quickly achieve popularity.”

Property in Hotham Parade in the Sydney suburb of Artarmon had been purchased for £46,500 for location of the channel’s transmission tower.


By February 1964, work had begun on clearing a 10-acre property in the suburb of North Ryde for TEN’s premises. The building, designed for four studios and administration offices, was budgeted to cost £750,000.

While construction was taking place, the station was acquiring its library of programs to hurl at its older rivals. Much of its overseas programs were purchased as part of the ITS network. Meanwhile, TEN’s Melbourne sister station, ATV0, had secured a package of almost 200 feature films from the Paramount studio, to be shared with TEN10 and other ITS stations as they came on the air.

General Manager Reg Fox (pictured below) told TV Week that the new channel would offer viewers an alternative to the established stations. “For example, the other commercial stations show news at 6.30. We will show a situation comedy in that timeslot. We will have news spots, lasting about three minutes, throughout the early evening program. Our main news bulletin will follow immediately after our movie at between 9 and 10 o’clock each night,” he said.


TEN10 planned to supplement its news coverage with a Monday to Thursday current affairs program, Telescope. “It is based on the BBC’s Tonight show which is a tremendous success in Britain,” Mr Fox said. TEN had hired Bill Peach, recently returned from overseas, to host the program. Also appointed to Telescope were reporter Tony Ward and producer John Hood. Ward, previously known to viewers as an interviewer on ATN7’s Seven Days program, said Telescope will be unlike other current affairs programs. “It will not only give background to the news, it also will have a musical and a satirical content,” he told TV Week. “This program also won’t be frightened to comment on the newspapers — and on other television stations, including the ABC.”

TEN10 also planned to relay the Melbourne-based variety show The Ray Taylor Show. Taylor was a familiar face to Sydney viewers before he went to Melbourne to join ATV0 in 1964.

As 1965 came around, TEN was hoping to launch on Monday 1 March. The date was to be postponed to 29 March and then again to April. Changes to the opening date were prompted by delays in construction — as a bout of bad weather, a transport workers strike and logistical problems in transporting and maneuvering steel beams and equipment for the transmission tower through suburban areas of Artarmon all impacted on construction.

Opening day finally did arrive, Monday 5 April, and TEN10’s program was put into action at 3.30pm, as presentation co-ordinator Norm Player pressed the start button on the channel’s modern automated presentation system. The system, designed to manage TEN’s entire on-air presentation, was able to be operated by a single person — while older TV stations would have up to five presentation co-ordinators at any time.

Opening night included a half-hour special, Countdown, providing a ‘musical journey through familiar and unfamiliar parts of Sydney’. From 7.00pm, Take Ten was basically a 90-minute selection of program trailers and previews for upcoming programs as well as an introduction to the various on-air personalities to feature on the new station.

Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies officially opened the channel at 8.26pm. In his address he said having an extra channel would be good for the future of TV “that we should have as wide a choice as possible in the programs we want to look at. I do not mean that there ought to be so many they cease to be effective, but I do mean that a choice, the possibility of turning that knob and getting on to another station is of tremendous importance.”


Then it was the night’s star attraction, the lavishly-produced 75-minute musical extravaganza – TV Spells Magic. The £25,000 production, billed as the most expensive ever in Australia at the time, featured 260 cast and extras and very few spoken words – the program was made up almost entirely of music, song and dance pieces to tell the story of the construction of a television station.

The program was produced by Australian Robert Fleming, seconded from London’s Rediffusion, with music and lyrics written by Englishmen Ronald Cass and Peter Myers.

ten10_0005Among the cast of TV Spells Magic were Keith Petersen, Evie Hayes, Chips Rafferty, Neva Carr Glynn, Nigel Lovell, Tikki Taylor, Dinah Shearing, Chuck Faulkner, Gwen Plumb, Diana Perryman, Queenie Ashton, Ron Shand, Arlene Dorgan, Don Crosby, Alistair Duncan, Margo Lee, Maggie Stuart, Ruth Cracknell, Wendy Blacklock and Frank Taylor.

Probably the most memorable of the show’s cast was model Diane Granquist (pictured right with Petersen) wearing a revealing toga (pictured below) as she unveils the TEN logo.

Before it had even aired, TEN had already sold TV Spells Magic to 21 television stations across Australia — including network partners ATV0 and upcoming channels TVQ0 Brisbane and SAS10 Adelaide. Other stations to buy the program included STW9 Perth, CTC7 Canberra and TVT6 Hobart.

So impressed with the production of TV Spells Magic that TEN10 executives entered the program for the prestigious Golden Rose of Montreaux award – the world’s premier light entertainment TV award.


In a similar vein to TV Spells Magic, TEN also had plans for a lavish 13-part series, A Machine Called Henry, described as “a musical love story” in which ‘Henry’, a computerised machine, acts as match-maker. Although the concept had attracted media attention before TEN’s launch, its production was to be stalled pending the launch of the network’s Brisbane and Adelaide stations with hopes to attract a national sponsor. It would then seem that A Machine Called Henry disappeared without trace.

hazelphillipsTEN10 did have better luck in launching children’s programs Owly’s School, Space Station 10 and Walk A Young World. Later programs to come from the TEN studios included variety shows Ten On The Town, 66 And All That and In Town Tonight. Chat show Girl Talk won host Hazel Phillips (pictured) a Gold Logie in 1967. Dita Cobb and Gwen Plumb were also daytime stars with their own shows.

Barry Crocker hosted The Barry Crocker Show and later Say It With Music, before Bobby Limb brought his long-running Sound Of Music series across from TCN9. Ironically, Nine then picked up Crocker to take over Sound Of Music — keeping the same title as Limb’s program now at Ten.

Johnny O’Keefe hosted pop music show Where The Action Is. Rosemary Eather hosted, wrote and produced the breakfast program Good Morning! and John Mahon hosted Sydney’s New Faces. Night owls tuned in for the ghoulish Deadly Earnest, played by Ian Bannerman, whose movie hosting was inevitably more entertaining than the B-grade films featured.

John Bailey joined the channel as newsreader and also hosted Telescope and its successor, Newsbeat. For a time he was also colleagues with his wife, Tanya Halesworth. Bailey also stepped up to host quiz  and game shows including Personality Squares and It’s Academic.

thelittlepeople_0001Children came under the spotlight in The Little People (pictured). John Bonney hosted The Marriage Game but soon resigned from the show to pursue an acting career. He was replaced by Malcolm Searle. Tony Ward, one of the original team on Telescope, also went on to pursue acting, leaving TEN10 to score the lead role in Nine’s spy drama Hunter.

While UTSL had hoped for TEN to turn a profit after its second full year of operation, the company incurred heavy losses as ratings failed to compete with the more established stations and the increase in competition had bumped program prices up. For its first full financial year in operation, 1965-66, TEN reported a loss of over $2 million. The next year it reported a loss of $1.2 million. It would be 1969 before it reported its first full-year profit, a modest $46,556.

While TEN10’s financial position was starting to show signs of improvement by the end of the decade, like its partner stations in the network, it still needed a good shot in the arm. That was to come in the 1970s…

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 9 August 1962. The Age, 6 April 1963. The Age, 18 February 1964. TV Week, 2 January 1965. Broadcasting & Television, 25 February 1965. TV Week, 20 March 1965. TV Week, 3 April 1965. Broadcasting & Television, 8 April 1965.  The Age, 26 May 1966. Sydney Morning Herald, 16 November 1966. TV Times, 26 April 1967. Sydney Morning Herald, 30 September 1969.





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/04/ten10-the-sixties-and-all-that.html

Apr 03 2015

TEN Sydney turns 50


This Sunday, 5 April, marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of TEN10, Sydney.

Today and over the weekend, we will take a look back at the channel’s formative decades — how the station began and how it fared as the new kid on the TV block. The shows that worked… and the ones that didn’t.

TEN10… the Sixties and all that
TEN10… Sex and the Seventies
TEN10… from Arcade to E Street

Here is a look at how TEN10 was previewed and promoted ahead of its launch in TV Week.

















Source: TV Week, 3 April 1965.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/04/ten-sydney-turns-50.html

Apr 01 2015

What is 40 years in metric time?

nigelstarckEvery year, media outlets around the world see how much they can do outdo each other for the most preposterous April Fool’s Day gag.

It was 40 years ago that ABC‘s This Day Tonight program unveiled a corker which attracted national attention at the time and more recently has gone global!

Nigel Starck, in 1975 a reporter for TDT in Adelaide, had come up with the idea to run an April Fool’s Day story on metric time. His inspiration came from reading a newsletter regarding converting cars to metric measurements — kilometres instead of miles — which was happening in the early 1970s.

What will they convert next? Clocks to metric time? Oh, yes! — said the intrepid reporter.

Under the “metric time” scheme, seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays.

He managed to find a willing accomplice in South Australian deputy premier Des Corcoran, assisted by some metric clocks whipped up by the ABC props department.

In the days before Photoshop, they also managed to place a crudely-mocked metric clock face on a picture of the Adelaide town hall. It probably looked convincing on 1970s TV sets!

The story gained widespread reaction — including confused viewers turning up at department stores seeking to buy a metric time clock… or asking how to convert their clocks to metric. It also gained national exposure, including an article in TV Times magazine a few weeks later.

Back in 2008, this website retrieved the original article and blogged it for April Fool’s Day. As a result the prank got picked up by the American Museum Of Hoaxes website which ranked it at the time at #15 in their Top 100 April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time.

On the 40th anniversary of the original TDT story, Dr Starck, as he is now as an adjunct senior lecturer at the University of South Australia, said it was remarkable the impact that story had over his long and varied career: “In 40 years of journalism, travelling the world, interviewing prime ministers, reporting on war and famine and flood, covering international sporting events, and announcing President Nixon’s resignation, it remains the only story that has brought me any sort of lasting recognition. And it was a hoax.”

“I do think listing as No. 15 is a bit mean of them. It’s surely ‘Top 10′ standard!”

But the internet is a harsh place, and as time has moved on and heaps more hoaxes have gained attention, the Top 100 list has been reviewed and sadly the metric time story has been bumped down… to 65th place!

Rest assured, it’s still our favourite here!




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/04/what-is-40-years-in-metric-time.html

Mar 31 2015

1995: April 1-7

tvweek_010495Rebecca’s baby tragedy
Rebecca Gibney is drenched in sweat, traumatised and wracked with pain — and she couldn’t be happier. For Gibney, playing the part of a woman who tragically gives birth to a stillborn child for an episode of GP, the role makes a change from glamorous-looking roles. “I think I’ve needed to show that different side of me, because I think people are so used to seeing me made up, not a hair out of place and dressed up in those glamorous suits,” she told TV Week. “This is good, because the bags show, the lines show, I look like I’m a 30-year-old woman who is going through an enormous amount of pain.” She is joined in the GP episode by John Howard, who plays her husband.

Current affairs boss quits
The 7.30 Report has been dealt a blow with the show’s national editor Philip Chubb resigning to join a private production company. Chubb had worked to revamp The 7.30 Report over the past two years but expressed his disappointment that the state-based format couldn’t be made a national program. “Essentially, it was a states’ right argument,” he told TV Week. “You have to balance the interests of the states against the national interest. It’s a very frustrating experience.” Chubb was also sorry that the show lost journalist Jill Singer, who he believed had been promoted to host Melbourne’s The 7.30 Report before being snapped up by Seven to host its new Today Tonight show in Melbourne. The matter of Singer’s last minute defection to Seven is currently with the lawyers, with ABC demanding around $50,000 as reimbursement. Despite his disappointment at losing Singer, Chubb was pleased to have journalist Sarah Henderson take over the host’s chair at 7.30. “There’s no question in my mind that we got the better end of the deal. I’ve been quite pleased at the way things have emerged.”

markmitchell_0003‘I’m a bit of a girl!’
In the children’s series Lift Off, now in a second series on ABC, Mark Mitchell (pictured) has played 34 different characters — many of them female. “I actually enjoy playing women best,” he told TV Week. “Men spend a lot of time trying to suppress the female aspects of their personalities. But I don’t feel cut off from that knowledge.” Mitchell, whose Comedy Company characters of Con the Fruiterer and his wife Marika are still popular, is also not worried by the fact that most of his characters are less than handsome. “There’s something warming about ugliness. There’s no sense of envy or alarm. Children are not as prejudiced against ugliness as adults. They interpret it differently.” He also suspects that many Lift Off viewers don’t realise he is behind so many of the characters in the show, such as Cecile de Vichyssoise, Amanda Tetra, Matron Snapper, Mrs Fish the Younger and Mrs Fish the Older. “I bet there are many adults who have watched Lift Off and don’t even realise it’s me playing all those characters.”


  • Twenty-year-old Martin Henderson has been signed up for Network Ten‘s new soapie Echo Point. The New Zealand actor had previously been seen in that country’s long-running soap Shortland Street, which has had a brief season here on SBS.
  • Former Heartbreak High star Alex Dimitriades and ex-Neighbours star Dan Falzon are to play street kids in the upcoming $6 million film The Ringer. The movie, to be shot in North Queensland, also stars Bill Hunter and Bradley Byquar, recently seen in ABC‘s Heartland.
  • hugoweavingIn The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Hugo Weaving played a drag queen. His next role is far less flamboyant — playing the part of Liverpudlian school teacher Kenneth Pearson in ABC‘s new drama, Bordertown. The 10-part series, set in the Boringa migrant camp in the Fifties, also stars Cate Blanchett, Linda Cropper, Peta Toppano, Norman Kaye, Robert Mammone, Ray Barrett, Petru Gheorghiu, Joe Petruzzi and Christine Tremarco (pictured with Weaving), last seen in The Leaving Of Liverpool.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 12 March): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 ER Nine Thu 1770000
2 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1683000
3 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 1666000
4 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1648000
5 Very Best Of The World’s Worst Drivers II Nine Tue 1626000
6 National Nine News Nine Sun 1617000
7 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1602000
8 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1577000
9 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1567000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1535000
11 Money Nine Wed 1486000
12 National Nine News Nine M-F 1482000
13 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1481000
14 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1443000
15 Our House Nine Wed 1442000
16 MacGyver Seven Sat 1434000
17 National Nine News Nine Sat 1427000
18 The Nanny Ten Wed 1420000
19 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1417000
20 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1417000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“Are we experiencing the quiet evolution or a new cycle of drama production on Australian television? That certainly seems to be the case and, surprisingly, it is the Nine Network that is leading the way. I say “surprisingly” because Nine has long prided itself as the market leader, but drama has been one area in which it has fallen down repeatedly in recent years. While the Seven Network has been able to get Blue Heelers up, and now Fire, Nine has had more mild success with several series of Law Of The Land, Snowy and Banjo Patterson’s The Man From Snowy River. Dotted in that landscape are a few other titles that weren’t even mildly successful. Now Nine appears to have it near enough to just right with Halifax fp and The Feds. While both have been tinged with controversy over their adults-only content, each has had its own, distinct style and flavour. They are not so-called “event” television by any means, but reaction to them indicates that they have been regarded by audiences as way above the average fare.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 1-7):
Saturday: The AFL premiership season starts this week with Round One highlights (6pm, Seven) hosted by Drew Morphett, featuring Geelong versus Melbourne and Richmond versus Fremantle. Recording artist Peter Gabriel is the celebrity guest in this week’s Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten). The First Test, Australia versus West Indies, is live from Barbados (12am, Ten) and continues again on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night overnight.

Sunday: Round One of AFL continues with West Coast Eagles versus St Kilda, live from Perth (2pm, Seven), followed by highlights of the Carlton versus Collingwood game at the MCG (5pm, Seven). Sunday night movies are Blindside (Seven) and Blindfold: Acts Of Obsession (Ten), with mini-series Million Dollar Babies debuting on Nine.

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Fisher (Norman Coburn) makes a spectacle of himself at Shane’s (Dieter Brummer) bucks night. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) reports on the growth of games and educational programs on CD Rom.

Tuesday: In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), while romance develops between Nick (Peter Phelps) and Morgan (Georgie Parker), Ted (Daniel Roberts) becomes a prime suspect in the hunt for the pyromaniac.

andrewdenton_0001Wednesday: Andrew Denton (pictured) hosts The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Charity Gala (8.30pm, Seven) from Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, including performances by Magda Szubanski, Steady Eddy, Flacco, Rachel Berger, Anthony Morgan and Emo Phillips.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Curtis (Shane Ammann) decides to go to Italy to be with Laura (Claudia Buttazzoni). In Janus (8.30pm, ABC), Michael Kidd (Chris Haywood) defends a man charged with an ugly crime.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) has some harsh words for Danni (Eliza Szonert) and tells her to smarten her act up or face losing friends. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Ailsa (Judy Nunn) finds Curtis (Shane Ammann) in shock following Laura’s (Claudia Buttazzoni) death. AFL Today (8.30pm, Seven) begins Round Two with Fremantle versus Essendon, live from Perth.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 1 April 1995. Southdown Press



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/03/1995-april-1-7.html

Mar 29 2015

1995: March 25-31

tvweek_250395Cover: Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman)

Home And Away pregnancy shock!
With romance in the air, the wedding of Shane and Angel (Dieter Brummer and Melissa George) in Home And Away leads to a one-night stand between best man Damian (Matt Doran) and Selina (Tempany Deckert). “Ages ago Selina made a move on Damian, but he turned her down,” Deckert told TV Week. “But when he comes back for the wedding… I think for both of them it seems the time is right.” The fling results in a pregnancy. “Originally, when they told me it was like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to do it… it’s too scary’, but it’s written really well. There are a few little twists and turns. It’s not your normal teenage pregnancy.”

christinemorrissyFrom goldfields to Getaway
Western Australian TV newsreader Christine Morrissy (pictured) is now set for a national profile with her new job as a reporter for Getaway. “Getaway really is one of the best jobs on Australian television,” she told TV Week. “Then the enormity of it hit me — having to move to Sydney and make changes. The one thing I’m going to miss is my family.” Morrissy hails from the goldfields town of Kalgoorlie. After completing her degree in journalism and media at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), she worked for Perth radio station 6PR, then as newsreader for regional network GWN before joining STW9 in Perth in 1993.

dalestevensDale’s abuse anxiety
Actress Dale Stevens is understandably anxious about the Blue Heelers storyline which sees her character, Rose Egan (pictured), the victim of domestic violence. With no real life experience, Stevens had to rely largely on her imagination and her sociology reports from university to play the part. She also sought some advice from a friend who had endured domestic violence. “I hope people who have been abused are not upset with the episode,” she told TV Week. “It is an insight into what women feel when violence happens, but it also offers solutions.”


  • Former A Country Practice star Anne Tenney is making a return to TV drama with a role in Seven‘s Fire. She plays the part of art dealer Anne Risdale who pursues a relationship with the much younger firefighter Banjo (Aaron Jeffery).”It’s great the producers chose me for this,” Tenney told TV Week. “It doesn’t happen much on Australian television that there’s an older woman playing to a younger man.”
  • Craig McLachlan, now filming the series Bugs for BBC, has spoken out about his love scenes with Catherine Zeta Jones, his co-star in the American mini-series Catherine The Great. “The scenes between Catherine and I are pretty steamy,” McLachlan told TV Week. “But if anyone tells you that loves scenes are great, I’m convinced they’re full of s***. They are nerve wracking in the extreme. It’s as sexy as a stack of roof tiles!”
  • Former E Street star Toni Pearen has accepted a job as a presenter for pay TV operator Galaxy‘s new music channel.
  • Home And Away is continuing to bring back former characters in a bid to boost ratings. Latest to make a return to Summer Bay is Steven Matheson, played by Adam Willits. Willits was an original cast member when Home And Away started production in 1987 and left the show two years later.
  • David Reyne is set to host a new late night show for the Seven Network. Electric Blanket is a four-night-a-week show being described as “like The Footy Show, but for current affairs”. Reyne will be joined by a panel of guest stars, with Merv Hughes and Tim “the Demtel man” Shaw rumoured to be involved.
  • Seven has picked up the rights to screening The Elizabeth Taylor Story and the deal allows it to be aired as soon as it goes to air in the US in May. Seven, however, is likely to hold off screening it until June or July.
  • Rupert Murdoch is rumoured to be interested in purchasing a 49 per cent stake in Steve Vizard and Andrew Knight‘s production company Artist Services, producer of programs including Fast Forward, Tonight Live and Full Frontal. Vizard’s only comment on the rumour is that “any company is for sale at the right price”.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 5 March): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 ER Nine Thu 1899000
2 Movie: Passenger 57 Nine Sun 1835000
3 National Nine News Nine Sun 1826000
4 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1779000
5 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1648000
6 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Seven Mon 1626000
7 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1619000
8 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1613000
9 National Nine News Nine M-F 1605000
10 National Nine News Nine Sat 1594000
11 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1584000
12 Greatest Dummy Spits Nine Tue 1565000
13 Money Nine Wed 1507000
14 World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1494000
15 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1491000
16 Our House Nine Wed 1488000
17 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1480000
18 The Nanny Ten Wed 1479000
19 SeaQuest DSV Ten Sun 1457000
20 Just Kidding Nine Mon 1452000

Caron James: The View From Here:

“He was known as Tricky Dickie. Former US president Richard Milhous Nixon was the brunt of thousands of jokes, cartoons, lampoons and effigies in the Seventies. “What did the president know, and when did he stop knowing it?” one comedian asked. But there was nothing amusing about Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal, as a new five-part BBC series shows. Watergate, to screen weekly on ABC from March 30, is a sobering look at the downfall of a president and his administration.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, March 25-31):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) reports on new equipment to help you reach the peak of fitness — by climbing a mountain that never ends. The final of the Ansett Australia Cup (8.30pm, Seven) is live from Waverley Park, Melbourne.

amandadepledgeSunday: Live coverage of the Australian 500cc Grand Prix (11am, Nine) is hosted by Darrell Eastlake, Barry Sheene, Alan Jones and Ken Sutcliffe, joined by former 500cc Grand Prix rider Kevin Magee. Sports Tonight reporter Amanda de Pledge (pictured) hosts The Extremists (12.30pm, Ten), a new series that explores the excitement of extreme sports like sky surfing, bungee jumping, speed skiing and free-falling. Sunday night movies are Man Without A Face (Seven), The Rookie (repeat, Nine) and Used People (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) has a romantic picnic organised for Lou’s (Tom Oliver) birthday. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon’s (Isla Fisher) friendship with Marcus (David Price) continues to grow. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Jim Brown travels to Queensland in search of the legendary swagman of Waltzing Matilda, who celebrates 100 years this year; and Tonia Todman shows some traditional Easter egg painting methods.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Mal (Benjamin McNair) is concerned about how Danni (Eliza Szonert) will feel about him being a virgin. David Letterman hosts the 67th Academy Awards (8.30pm, Nine) in a delayed telecast from Los Angeles. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), Repo (Andy Anderson) cons Grievous (Tayler Kane) to do a strip show in front of 30 hungry women; and Nick (Peter Phelps) discovers that Morgan (Georgie Parker) is spying on the platoon.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Selina (Tempany Deckert) and Irene (Lynne McGrainger) resolve their differences once and for all; and Donna (Nicola Quilter) strikes out violently at Andrew (Adrian Lee).

dieterbrummermelissageorgeThursday: The half-hour special Shane And Angel — A Love Story (7.30pm, Seven) looks at Home And Away‘s teenage sweethearts (pictured). In Janus (8.30pm, ABC), Shane Hennessey (Johnathon Kernutt), the youngest of the Hennessey clan, is arrested for a vicious assault and burglary.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Philip (Ian Rawlings) finally works up the courage to ask Jen (Alyce Platt) on a date. Seven’s new football entertainment program Four Quarters (7.30pm) is hosted by Sandy Roberts, Wayne Carey, Tim Watson, Brigitte Duclos and Michael Veitch.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 25 March 1995. Southdown Press



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/03/1995-march-25-31.html

Mar 26 2015

1995: March 18-24

tvweek_180395Cover: Sherry Stringfield, Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle (ER)

Neighbours celebrates a perfect 10!
Celebrating its 10th birthday, Neighbours has been one of the greatest success stories of Australian television. Despite being axed by the Seven Network after six months, the show made an unprecedented move to Network Ten and has become a global hit, watched by millions in the United Kingdom and numerous other countries. The show has just been sold to Russian network TV6 and is also now screening in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. “I must say the reaction to the show, both here and overseas, is amazing,” Kimberley Davies, who plays Annalise Hartman, told TV Week.  “I am very proud to be in Neighbours. It’s done an enormous amount of good for my career.” Co-star Melissa Bell defended the show from its critics. “Even people who have acted on Neighbours have been known to say they wish they hadn’t done it,” she said. “But I believe you should never forget what started you off in the business and where you’ve come from.”

liddyclarkFire rekindles Liddy’s career
Liddy Clark, best known from series Ride On Stranger and Rafferty’s Rules, walked away from acting some years ago. But she has decided to make a brief comeback in the Seven Network‘s Fire, playing the part of arson squad chief Detective Sergeant Jean Diamond (pictured). In returning to TV after five years, she found the biggest challenge was seeing herself on screen. “All of a sudden I’m a middle-aged woman. It’s shocking how it (the face) changes, shocking! I hadn’t seen myself on screen for five years and it was a bit of a shock,” she told TV Week.

Lisa’s killer role
Lisa Hensley, whose credits include Brides Of Christ and Law Of The Land, is set to challenge her respectable, clean-cut image with the lead role in the upcoming movie Isabelle’s Diary. “I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll be getting my hair cut off to play this not very nice character,” she told TV Week. “This character kills people, so it will be a bit of a change from my roles in Brides Of Christ and Law Of The Land.”


  • It had stalled a while back, but it appears that production of the Home And Away movie is back in progress. The UK-based Portman Entertainment Group, producer of the $6 million film, is hoping for a UK release in mid-1996.
  • Police Rescue star Steve Bisley has signed on to become the new doctor in ABC‘s GP.
  • Former Heartbreak High star Alex Dimitriades is the latest name to have signed up for ABC‘s upcoming mini-series Blue Murder.
  • Seven‘s new current affairs show Today Tonight has apparently not been getting off to a great start. Rumours insist that Melbourne host Jill Singer is wishing she’d stayed put at ABC, where she was a reporter for The 7.30 Report. A Seven Network executive has reportedly also taken exception to a negative review of the show by a newspaper columnist, and has confronted the writer over the story.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 26 February): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 ER Nine Thu 1877000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1716000
3 National Nine News Nine Sun 1657000
4 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1619000
5 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1615000
6 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Seven Mon 1612000
7 Halifax fp Nine Wed 1611000
8 National Nine News Nine M-F 1586000
9 Movie: Made In America Nine Sun 1548000
10 Money Nine Wed 1542000
11 Fire Seven Tue 1536000
12 Just Kidding Nine Mon 1530000
13 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1505000
14 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1501000
15 Our House Nine Wed 1443000
16 National Nine News Nine Sat 1440000
17 World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1424000
18 Seinfeld Ten Tue 1402000
19 Wild Life Nine Thu 1383000
20 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1370000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“The Nine Network‘s spat with cable operator Galaxy and federal Communications Minister Michael Lee is just the opening salvo in a war that is likely to rage for years as more subscriber TV operators enter the marketplace (there’s no doubt, either, that some will exit fairly ingloriously). As usual in these situations, unfortunately, it won’t be the free-to-air networks or the subscriber operators who are the biggest winners or losers, as the case may be. It will be you and me… and right now we’re not looking like winners, are we?”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, March 18-24):
Saturday: Rugby League (3.30pm, ABC) features Illawarra versus Auckland Warriors. Cricket makes a rare appearance on Ten with the One Day International, West Indies versus Australia (12.30am), live from Guyana. Commentators include David Hookes, Mike Coward and Michael Holding.

Sunday: Sunday night movies are True Colors (Seven), Crocodile Dundee (repeat, Nine) and Miller’s Crossing (Ten).

neighbours_1985_robinson_0001Monday: Children’s series The Ferals (5pm, ABC) returns for its second series — featuring Rattus the Rat, Derryn the Dog, Modigliana the Cat and Mixy the Rabbit and their neighbours Leonard (Brian Rooney) and Robbie (Kylle Hogart). The two-hour special Neighbours 10th Anniversary (8.30pm, Ten) celebrates Australia’s most successful drama series, featuring original cast members Anne Haddy and Stefan Dennis (pictured with Kylie Flinker in 1985) and fellow castmates including Anne Charleston and Melissa Bell.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Helen (Anne Haddy) and Reuben’s (James Condon) love intensifies. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), William’s (Michael Craig) attempts to comfort Eva (Sue Walker) after the death of her husband, end in rejection. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), war is declared between the firies and the police when the arson squad invade South East and interviews the members of the platoon.

shaneammannWednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) discovers that Curtis (Shane Ammann, pictured) and Laura (Claudia Buttazzoni) are wanted by the police. In Halifax fp (8.30pm, Nine), a school teacher dies mysteriously and a student is brutally murdered at a prestigious private boys’ boarding school. Jane Halifax (Rebecca Gibney) discovers a school stepped in history but now harbouring a dark secret as a psychopath walks its hallowed halls.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Philip (Ian Rawlings) goes on a blind date. In Wild Life With Olivia Newton-John (7.30pm, Nine), reporter Simon Reeve reports from Texas on the miniature horses being bred at the monastery of St Clare.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) faces her fears and offers the hand of friendship to Marcus (David Price). Seven presents a Star Trek movie double — Star Trek IV and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 18 March 1995. Southdown Press





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/03/1995-march-18-24.html

Mar 25 2015

Seven signs 2016 Paralympics Games deal

7_2000sThe Seven Network has secured rights to broadcast the 2016 Paralympic Games from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The deal, which includes broadcast and subscription television, radio, online, mobile and Hybrid Broadband Broadcast, makes it the first time the Paralympic Games have been covered by Australian commercial television.

They have traditionally been broadcast on ABC.

Seven is promising 14 hours a day of Paralympics coverage across its broadcast and online platforms.

The Games will be held in September 2016. Australia is expected to send 185 athletes to compete in 15 sports. At the last Paralympics, in London 2012, Australia came fourth in the overall medal tally with 32 gold, 23 silver and 30 bronze.

The Seven Network has already secured broadcast rights to the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games and 2018 Commonwealth Games.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/03/seven-signs-2016-paralympics-games-deal.html

Mar 25 2015

Obituary: Stephen Phillips

stephenphillipsVeteran sports journalist, writer and producer Stephen Phillips has died at the age of 62. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumour last year.

His career started covering sport, primarily football, for the print media in the 1970s. He joined HSV7 in 1979 as a reporter and presenter, appearing on programs including Seven National News and World Of Sport.

He went on to head Seven’s London bureau in 1985.

Phillips then moved across to the Nine Network and worked in radio at 3AK.

He later returned to Seven in the early 1990s, being involved in the network’s Olympic Games coverage in 1992 and 1996 and reporting for Seasons.

He was one of the four founders of what is now the AFL Media Association and a member of the MCG Media Hall of Fame.

Since 1996 he ran a media production company and worked as an MC and corporate speaker.

Stephen Phillips is survived by wife Jill and children Grace and Tom.

Source: AFL, Herald Sun, LinkedIn





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/03/obituary-stephen-phillips.html

Mar 22 2015

TV Week Logie Awards — Nominations

Logie_2015TV Week has this afternoon announced the nominations for the 57th annual TV Week Logie Awards — to be held in Melbourne on Sunday 3 May.

As per usual custom the awards are divided between Most Popular (publicly-voted) and Most Outstanding (industry-voted) categories.

The recipient of this year’s TV Week Logie Awards‘ Hall Of Fame is still to be announced.

The Nine Network‘s Love Child leads the charge with seven nominations, while Seven’s INXS: Never Tear Us Apart has scored six nominations. Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year: South America has four nominations — including Gold Logie nominations for both Hamish Blake and Andy Lee.

Among SBS’ nominations are three for NITV (Marngrook Footy Show, Move It Mob Style and NITV News) and one for SBS2 (The Feed).


Andy Lee (Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year: South America)
Asher Keddie (Offspring, Party Tricks)
Carrie Bickmore (The Project)
Hamish Blake (Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year: South America)
Scott Cam (The Block)
Stephen Peacocke (Home And Away)

Last year’s winner: Scott Cam


Chris Lilley (Jonah From Tonga)
Craig McLachlan (The Doctor Blake Mysteries)
Josh Thomas (Please Like Me)
Luke Arnold (INXS: Never Tear Us Apart)
Stephen Peacocke (Home And Away)

Last year’s winner: Chris Lilley


Asher Keddie (Offspring, Party Tricks)
Bonnie Sveen (Home And Away)
Jessica Marais (Carlotta, Love Child)
Julia Morris (House Husbands)
Mandy McElhinney (Love Child)

Last year’s winner: Asher Keddie


Amanda Keller (The Living Room)
Andy Lee (Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year: South America)
Carrie Bickmore (The Project)
Grant Denyer (Family Feud)
Karl Stefanovic (Today)

Last year’s winner: Scott Cam


Harriet Dyer (Love Child)
Laura Brent (ANZAC Girls, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart)
Miranda Tapsell (Love Child)
Samantha Jade (INXS: Never Tear Us Apart)
Olympia Valance (Neighbours)

Last year’s winner: Bonnie Sveen


Home And Away (Seven)
House Husbands (Nine)
INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (Seven)
Love Child (Nine)
Offspring (Ten)

Last year’s winner: Home And Away


Better Homes And Gardens (Seven)
Getaway (Nine)
Grand Designs Australia (Lifestyle/Foxtel)
Selling Houses Australia (Lifestyle/Foxtel)
The Living Room (Ten)

Last year’s winner: Better Homes And Gardens


Marngrook Footy Show (NITV)
The AFL Footy Show (Nine)
The Cricket Show (Nine)
The NRL Footy Show (Nine)
Wide World Of Sport (Nine)

Last year’s winner: The NRL Footy Show


Big Brother (Nine)
Bondi Rescue (Ten)
Bondi Vet (Ten)
My Kitchen Rules (Seven)
The Block (Nine)

Last year’s winner: My Kitchen Rules


Family Feud (Ten)
Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year: South America (Nine)
Sunrise (Seven)
The Project (Ten)
The Voice (Nine)

Last year’s winner: Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year



Danielle Cormack (Wentworth)
Denise Roberts (Schapelle)
Jessica Marais (Carlotta)
Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King)
Nicole da Silva (Wentworth)

Last year’s winner: Asher Keddie


Ashley Zukerman (The Code)
John Noble (Devil’s Playground)
Luke Arnold (INXS: Never Tear Us Apart)
Martin Henderson (Secrets And Lies)
Richard Roxburgh (Rake)

Last year’s winner: Lachy Hulme


Brandon McClelland (ANZAC Girls)
Harriet Dyer (Love Child)
Miranda Tapsell (Love Child)
Silvia Colloca (Made In Italy With Silvia Colloca)
Troy Kinne (Kinne)

Last year’s winner: Remy Hii


Bushwhacked (ABC3)
Move It Mob Style (NITV)
Nowhere Boys (ABC3)
Tashi (7TWO)
The Worst Year Of My Life, Again (ABC3)

Last year’s winner: Nowhere Boys


2014 FIFA World Cup (SBS One)
Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival (Seven)
KFC T20 Big Bash League (Ten)
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 (Seven)
Toyota AFL Grand Final (Seven)

Last year’s winner: 2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival


Brilliant Creatures (ABC)
Changing Minds (ABC)
Coast Australia (History/Foxtel)
First Contact (SBS One)
The War That Changed Us (ABC)

Last year’s winner: Kings Cross ER: St Vincent’s Hospital


“Banking Bad”, Four Corners (ABC)
Ian Thorpe: The Parkinson Interview (Ten)
“Ice Towns”, The Feed (SBS2)
“Joining The Fight”, Insight (SBS One)
“Searching For C11″, Australian Story (ABC)

Last year’s winner: “Prisoner X – The Australian Connection”, Foreign Correspondent


“Lindt Café Siege”, Seven News (Seven)
“Moree”, NITV News (NITV)
“Peter Greste Trial”, ABC News (ABC)
“Sydney Siege”, Nine News (Nine)
“What Is Metadata”, Sky News (Foxtel)

Last year’s winner: “NSW Bushfires”, Nine News


Black Comedy (ABC)
Legally Brown (SBS One)
Please Like Me (ABC)
Upper Middle Bogan (ABC)
Utopia (ABC)

Last year’s winner: n/a


Bogan Hunters (7mate)
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell (ABC)
The Chaser’s Media Circus (ABC)
The Checkout (ABC)
The Voice (Nine)

Last year’s winner: Housos


Carlotta (ABC)
Devil’s Playground (Showcase/Foxtel)
INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (Seven)
The Broken Shore (ABC)

Last year’s winner: Top Of The Lake


Janet King (ABC)
Puberty Blues (Ten)
Rake (ABC)
The Code (ABC)
Wentworth (Soho/Foxtel)

Last year’s winner: Redfern Now

The 57th annual TV Week Logie Awards will be telecast on the Nine Network.






Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/03/tv-week-logie-awards-nominations-3.html

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